The gardens at the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park in Bristol are ready for spring planting thanks in part to the efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard.
On April 22, a Coast Guard work party came to the park to prepare the gardens for summer. Coast Guard reservist and Bristol native Ben Pendleton said the community service project was part of the “Chief’s Call to Initiation,” a process in which newly advanced E-7s in the Coast Guard are welcomed into the “chief’s mess.”
“The initiation process is approximately eight weeks long and includes visiting all of the units to which prospective chief petty officers are assigned, community service, team building, and Coast Guard history,” Pendleton said. “Currently there are 20 prospective chief petty officers taking part in CCTI for Sector Northern New England. Eleven took part in the community service project at the lighthouse; one traveling all the way from Machias to participate. Three initiated chiefs helped out as well, along with several family members.”
Tasked with doing a service project, Pendleton, a full-time landscaper, immediately thought of landscaping at the lighthouse. As he said, legendary Coast Guardsman Marcus Hanna was born in Bristol and was a keeper at Pemaquid Point.
Learning about the history and traditions is major part of the CCTI process so landscaping at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse followed by a tour of the museum and lighthouse tower to learn about the history was a natural fit, Pendleton said.
Bristol Parks and Recreation Director Shelly Gallagher said her department can’t thank the Coast Guard members enough for all of their hard work.
“As a department that does not receive taxpayer money and is solely funded by revenue and donations, we would not have been able to afford to do all of the work that was done on Saturday,” Gallagher said. “Ben went above and beyond in getting donations for this including all of the tools and equipment donated by the Bristol company Natural Concepts, and the mulch for the gardens donated by N.C. Hunt of Damariscotta. Once the weather warms up a bit more, we can start planting flowers in those beautiful gardens to be ready for opening. If anyone would like to donate flowers for our gardens, it would be greatly appreciated.”
For more information, or to make a donation to the gardens at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park, call 563-1800, or 350-7022, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.